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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
What’s the first company that comes to mind when you think of car seats? If it’s Grayco or Britax you really need to get out more. In the realm of performance automotive seating Recaro is a leader in the industry, whether it’s at the OEM or aftermarket level.
MINI is finally offering Recaro seats as an option for their various models, but only in one configuration. The Recaro seat option will come in black Dinamica and leather only, but they are heated.
They will be available for all the MINI models except for the Countryman and Convertible. Pricing is set at $3,000 on Cooper models, while Cooper S and JCW owners get a slight price discount at $2,750. The option will be made available starting with March 2012 build vehicles. Recaro branding looks to be absent from the MINI seats, an unfortunate move given that most of the fun in ordering them comes from having the RECARO lettering stitched into the seat itself.
GALLERY: MINI Recaro Seat Options
In the world of race seats, perhaps no name is bigger or stronger than Recaro. This German company has been manufacturing seats since 1906 and its products are now sold around the world. It is so popular, that if you come across a race car, chances are its seats are by Recaro.
Not to rest on their success, Recaro is looking to new channels to spread their word on the advantages of their seats. It has now just launched a Facebook page and a YouTube channel to attract more fans to their brand.
On their YouTube channel, they will post videos featuring different athletes who will talk about why they use Recaro seats. The first videos feature Formula Drift Champion Chris Forsberg. In the coming weeks you see videos featuring skateboarder Bucky Lasek and BMX/Rally Cross expert Dave Mirra.
We all know that child car seats are meant to help protect your kids, but new tests results put out by Healthy Stuff say that half of 2011 child car seats contain the use of chemicals that are known to result in unexpected health problems.
The organization, which as been testing car safety seats since 2008, tested for bromine, chlorine and other heavy metals. And even though they did find that half of the car seats made in 2011 did contain some of these elements, there is some good news – since Healthy Stuff started testing, the average rankings have improved by 64 percent.
If you’re in the market for a new child car seat, keep this list handy:
Most Toxic 2011 Car Seats:
- Infant Seat: Graco Snugride 35 in Edgemont Red/Black & Graco SnugRide 30 in Asprey
- Convertible Seat: Britax Marathon 70 in Jet Set & Britax Marathon in Platinum
- Booster Seat: Recaro Pro Booster in Blue Opal & Recaro ProSPORT Toddler in Mist
Least Toxic 2011 Car Seats:
- Infant Seat: Chicco KeyFit 30 in Limonata, Graco Snugride 35 in Laguna Bay & Combi Shuttle 33 in Cranberry Noche
- Convertible Carseat: Graco Comfort Sport in Caleo, Graco MyRide 65 in Chandler and Streamer, Safety 1st OnSide Air in Clearwater, and Graco Nautilus Elite 3-in-1 in Gabe
- Booster Seat: Graco Turbo Booster in Anders
If you want to see the full list what seat made the list, head on over to the Healthy Stuff site (you can even add your name to the petition for safer products). Partnering with The Alliance for Toxic-Free Fire Safety, Healthy Stuff is attempting to pressure the “largest car seat retailers, Graco and Evenflo, to take leadership to disclose and phase out hazardous chemical flame retardant additives”.
The Blue Angels-themed Mustang GT, built specifically to be sold at a charity auction, fetched a total of $400,000, making up a good chunk of the total $2.2 million raised at the annual EAA AirVenture benefiting the Young Eagles program. The winner didn’t just get himself a wickedly-built blue chrome Mustang GT either. He (or she) also got a Blue Angels flight helmet autographed by all the members of the current team.
The completed Mustang GT features a blue chrome paint job done by Creations ‘n Chrome with hand painted stripes and graphics. The front end comes from a Boss 302 while the custom rear wing does a fantastic job paying homage to the aviation team. The set of HRE 590RS wheels looks right at home on the custom Ford, and gives the car a very classy touch.
On the inside, custom Recaro seats can be found sporting Alcantara fabric, yellow stripes and stitching. The steering wheel gets a similar theme while a trio of gauges can be spotted from the dash. The yellow stripes and stitching theme also continues on the door panels and floor mats, while a Boss 302 Laguna Seca rear seat delete is painted a custom painted yellow.
And to prove that Ford isn’t in the business of just building flashy vehicles with no go, the Blue Angels-themed Mustang would make even those fast-flying pilots proud. Under the hood is Ford Racing’s supercharger system with all the fumes being expelled out of a Ford Mustang exhaust. Ford Racing’s handling package was thrown on to enhance the suspension while braking is now perfect with a set of Brembo front brakes and Ford Racing’s brake ducts.
GALLERY: Blue Angels Ford Mustang GT
[Source: Mustangs Daily]
Love your MINI Cooper and its awesome British heritage. Your MINI might be sporting the stylish Union Jack on the roof but perhaps you need something to complement it in the interior. It’s a good thing Recaro is one step ahead of you, releasing their Union Jack seats that would most certainly meet with the approval of Austin Powers.
The Union Jack seats are part of their Sportster CS series and are available through the Attractive4Mini program. And like all Recaro seats, these are made for comfort and support while providing plenty of protection. No pricing has been made available but they will be released to the public on September 18th. So stop sippin’ that tea and get to ordering yourself a pair of new seats.
[Source: Zer Customs]
RJ De Vera and Hondas have become synonymous with streetable performance for over the past decade. De Vera is one of Honda’s most avid enthusiasts, building some of the cleanest, daily-driven projects we’ve seen over the years. So it’s no surprise that Honda has partnered up with RJ yet again for their newest and greatest creation, the Honda CR-Z.
We’ve been preaching since the Tokyo Auto Salon that the hybrid tuning craze is inevitably going to take off in America. While it may never reach the heights of what Japan has done in the last couple of years, the release of Honda’s CR-Z could help shape the new trend.
For SEMA this year, Honda has given away several Honda CR-Zs to car builders around the nation to show off what can be done to the fun, hot hatch. We’ve already teased the Fortune Motorsports and Tjin Edition’s build, and now we’re getting a sneak preview of what RJ De Vera has planned for his CR-Z build.
We spoke to RJ briefly and he stressed to us the focus of the CR-Z is to be a clean and fully functional street car that is fun, hence the name CR-Z Type-F. Naturally the CR-Z wouldn’t quite pull its own weight (for now) as a Type-R model, and naming it as such would just be foolish and downright silly. De Vera told us that he wants it to be fully functional so it can compete in the Source Interlink Super Lap Battle shortly after the show.
The CR-Z will be showcasing Wraptivo’s brand of products, a new division of Meguiar’s that focuses on custom car wraps. On the outside will be a matte black wrap with glossy black accents to contrast. Carbon fiber film wrap will be used on the roof, hood and part of the center section of the front bumper to show off just what Wraptivo can do for you.
Naturally a clean aero kit will be utilized along with a set of lightweight Volk Racing TE-37s in an awesome F-Zero Red color. Suspension looks like it’ll come from TEIN while Brembo will be handling the aftermarket brakes. De Vera disclosed to us that he is working closely with HKS on getting a supercharger for the hybrid, while Hondata has been working hard on cracking the ECU to eke out every bit of power.
As always, AutoGuide will be on hand at the 2010 SEMA Show in early November to bring you complete coverage.
Get more Honda CR-Z News and Info at CR-ZCraze.com
Official press release available after the break.
We’re not quite sure what to make of this ‘coachbuilt’ Aston Martin Super Sport; especially its $9.6 million price tag. So what exactly does $9.6 million USD buy you? Read on!
This limited edition vehicle is apparently being built by Star Electric Cars based out of France. Until now Star Electric Cars was better known for making electric golf carts that resemble Hummers, Cadillacs and Bentleys. The exterior of the car is clearly Aston Martin-inspired, but we need to stress that this isn’t an Aston Martin at all. It’ll consist of plenty of lightweight carbon fiber bodywork and scissor doors. Inside the race-inspired vehicle receives Recaro seats, custom leather and Alcantara upholstery and carbon fiber trim. And for those that actually believe they’ll drive this thing more than a couple of times a year, there’s a built-in navigation system and iPod adapter.
And as for performance? Well for that price tag, we’d hope it would blow us away – and we guess it does. A 5.4L V- powerplant is mid-mounted, mated to a twin-turbo setup that helps put down an astonishing 800- to 950-hp. Clearly it’ll be rear wheel drive and will come with a six-speed manual transmission with an optional F1 paddle shift. We won’t even take a guess at what that option will cost.
Is this a new competitor to Pagani’s Zonda? We highly doubt it, since Zonda’s are the quintessential vehicles for a true driving experience. But hey, variety is the spice of life, no?
GALLERY: Coachbuilt Aston Martin
They may be safe enough to race in, but these safety seats are made especially for your little passengers. Recaro, makers of automobile and race car seat technology as well as an innovator in side impact protection, has introduced the ProSERIES line of car seats. It’s Recaro’s latest addition to their line of child seats based on the company’s race-track proven mobile seating technology.
This new line includes the ProRIDE, the ProSPORT and the ProBOOSTER seats. What’s great about these car seats is that they are specifically designed to deliver comfort and safety as your child grows.
“Recaro’s new ProSERIES seats are designed to not only deliver maximum protection, but the ultimate in comfort for the entire time a child is required to be in a car seat,” said Jonathan Sieber, director of Sales & Marketing for Recaro North America. “We have already received a significant amount of positive feedback from parents that appreciate not only the ProSERIES’ safety design, but its great looks and overall ease-of-use. Recaro was also able to achieve a 90-pound harness weight capacity on the ProSPORT which is the highest available in its class.”
This line will fit children ranging from 5 to 120 pounds. The ProRIDE convertible seat can face the rear and then be turned it to face forward as your child grows, and is designed for children from 5 to 70 pounds and 50 inches in height or less. The ProSPORT is a combo harness/booster car seat made for children weighing between 20 and 90 pounds when used in harness mode and 30 to 120 pounds when used in booster mode (children must also be less than 59 inches tall). The ProBOOSTER has 11 head restraint positions and is built for children from 30 to 120 pounds and from 37 to 61 inches in height.
Offering the luxury and safety for any car trip, the ProSERIES is a high-quality child restraint system. Each of these seats incorporate Recaro’s innovative Side Impact Protection system designed to specifically protect each of the 5 vulnerable areas of a child in a side impact collision – head, neck, face, torso and pelvis.
The ProSERIES line of child seats are now available at retailers across North America.
The Land Down Under just got some exciting news from Ford. Even though production is coming to an end, Australia will be gifted with 315 Ford Focus RS models in a limited edition production and available in three different colors.
“Customers, the motoring press, Ford enthusiasts and hot hatch fans have all been constantly asking us about Focus RS and when it might be coming to Australia, so we’re very pleased and incredibly excited to be able to confirm for everyone today that it’s on its way and will be here soon,” Ford Australia President & CEO Marin Burela said.
Available for close to $55,000 U.S., the Ford Focus RS is no cheap hatchback, but it’s definitely one hot hatch. Powered by a 2.5L inline-five turbocharged engine, the Focus RS pushes out 300-hp and 295 ft-lbs of torque. As mentioned before, the 315 buyers will be able to choose from Ultimate Green, Performance Blue and Frozen White as color choices.
And for those still looking for more info on the car, the interior sports Recaro seats and most of your standard run-of-the-mill amenities including six-disc CD player and eight-speaker Sony audio system.
GALLERY: Australian Ford Focus RS
Buick hasn’t had a truly hot car since the GNX of 1987, but things are set to change if The Detroit Free Press’ sources are correct. The newspaper reports that the Regal GS, a high performance version of Buick’s new Regal sports sedan, has been approved for production.
The concept Regal GS (we use the term “concept” loosely) follows in the footsteps of the GNX by using a turbo powerplant, but the similarities end there. The GNX had a twin turbo V6, automatic transmission and rear wheel drive with a crude rear suspension setup. The GS on the other hand, uses an ultra-high-tech turbo four-banger, putting out 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, through a six speed manual gearbox and an all-wheel drive system.
The Free Press reports that the tight Recaro bucket seats seen on the concept may not make it to production, and for once, the less sporty option might be the smart one. Buick’s average buyer is 65 years old, and it’s hard to imagine someone that qualifies for senior citizen discounts wanting to hoist themselves in an out of those seats multiple times per day.
Gallery: Buick Regal GS
Overhaul will include 237hp upgrade and the removal of the rear seats
Honda’s odd-looking Euro-spec Civic Type-R hatchback is about to get the Mugen treatment. With the success of the Honda Civic Mugen RR sedan, the Japanese Honda-tuner wants to take on the latest Type-R, adding power, dropping weight and making an already amazing package that much better.
Mugen isn’t releasing any hard and fast facts yet, but the car is expected to rely heavily on the Mugen RR sedan, so we should expect to see the 2.0-liter engine upped to 237hp at 8000 rpm and 160 ft-lbs of torque at a lofty 7000 rpm.
The light-weight 18-inch forged alloy wheels, Brembo brakes and amazing Recaro seats will also be a part of the package. And as for those rear seats, they’ll be tossed entirely for maximum weight savings.
The real trick will be if Mugen can design an aero kit that not only works (we have no doubt of that), but which can actually make the car look good.
EVO magazine estimates the price to be in the £35,000-range – which equates to roughly $58,000.
GALLERY: Civic Mugen RR Sedan
No matter how cool a U.S.-spec car is, foreign automakers always seem to have an even more impressive and hard-core version for oversea’s markets. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is a stellar performer, but in the U.K. apparently there’s a demand foreven more power – 36 more horsepower to be precise.
Named the FQ-330, this new model generates 329hp and gets a bump of 22 ft-lbs of torque for a total of 322 ft-lbs. The added power is acheived through the use of a new high-flow exhaust, a new downpipe, as well as new intercooler piping and a new catalytic converter.
Standard equipment on the FQ-330 includes Eibach springs, Bilstein shocks, Brembo brakes, Recaro seats, 18-inch Enkei wheels and Mitsubishi’s amazing double-clutch TC-SST transmission..
Pricing for the new model is set at £35,999 (roughly $56,0000), a £3,000 premium over the standard Evo model. It will be offered in four different colors: Cool Silver, Orient Red, Lightning Blue and Phantom Black.
Official release after the jump: